Kiama cemeteries filling up fast, double burials will be considered

NICE PLACE TO VISIT: It's an angel's view from the Gerringong Cemetery, which is proving too popular for the limited space it can use.
NICE PLACE TO VISIT: It's an angel's view from the Gerringong Cemetery, which is proving too popular for the limited space it can use.

They’re some of the most sought-after seaside stays on the south coast.

But Kiama Council is almost ready to put up the “no vacancy” sign at its most popular long-term accommodation sites.

And by long term, we mean permanent.

Council says its popular cemeteries are running out of space, with Gerringong and Kiama almost full.

Double stacked burials, higher plot prices and encouraging cremation will now be considered to ease the burial squeeze.

MOST POPULAR: Kiama Cemetery is reaching capacity.

MOST POPULAR: Kiama Cemetery is reaching capacity.

Gerringong’s picturesque cemetery, famously sitting on the headland above the boat harbour south of Werri Beach, has become a casualty of its own attractiveness with only five per cent capacity left, council said. 

Meanwhile Kiama Cemetery, which sits near Bombo Beach between the quarry and the town, but separated from the ocean by the main road, had just 16 per cent capacity left. It remained Kiama’s “most popular” cemetery, general manager Michael Forsyth said.

Jamberoo cemetery has 78 per cent capacity available and the council is encouraging those who seek a final destination to consider themselves at rest among the green hills near Drualla Rd. 

MERCURY.NEWS,GRAVE..pic wayne venables 17 december 2004..GERRINGONG CEMETERY ON THE HILL OVERLOOKING THE OCEAN SPECIALX 00045428

MERCURY.NEWS,GRAVE..pic wayne venables 17 december 2004..GERRINGONG CEMETERY ON THE HILL OVERLOOKING THE OCEAN SPECIALX 00045428

The numbers seem to come from a report by consultants. But council would not yet release the release the report itself.

For those who have enjoyed their golden years in Kiama and pictured it ending six feet under in their chosen location, a change of plans may be on the horizon.

Gerringong and Jamberoo would be considered for “double-depth” burial sites, but Kiama cemetery’s low-lying location meant this was not possible there.

MERCURY.NEWS,GRAVE..pic wayne venables 17 december 2004..GERRINGONG CEMETERY ON THE HILL OVERLOOKING THE OCEAN SPECIALX 00045428

MERCURY.NEWS,GRAVE..pic wayne venables 17 december 2004..GERRINGONG CEMETERY ON THE HILL OVERLOOKING THE OCEAN SPECIALX 00045428

“Double-depth sites are quite common in other areas and it does present the most practical solution that can be implemented quickly and easily,” Mr Forsyth said.

People may be encouraged to choose Jamberoo or double sites by higher prices for resting in peace at Kiama and Gerringong.

“Unlike most cemeteries, we currently charge a relatively flat fee, which would need to change to encourage people to consider double-depth sites, using Jamberoo or making cremation a more attractive option,” Mr Forsyth said.

“The other side of changing our fee structure, is updating the services we provide, to meet modern expectations.”